Director Baz Luhrmann lists vibrant Gramercy townhouse for $20M
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Director Baz Luhrmann lists vibrant Gramercy townhouse for $20M

March 4, 2022

All photos courtesy of Nina Poon/MW Studio for the Corcoran Group

Writer and director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, costume designer Catherine Martin, are selling their Gramercy Park townhouse for $19,995,000, as the Wall Street Journal first reported. Located at 243 East 17th Street, the 28-foot-wide Anglo-Italianate-style six-bedroom home sits on Stuyvesant Square Park, within the area’s historic district. Inside, the Australian couple put their own creative touch on the 19th-century home, with dramatic, patterned wallpaper, bright colors, and carefully curated furniture.

Constructed in the 1850s, the property is the only Anglo-Italianate house in the district not originally part of a row of uniform houses, according to the Landmark Preservation Commission’s designation report for the Stuyvesant Square Historic District. Architectural details to note include the three-bay facade, round-arched windows with original muntins, and the foliate-patterned cast-iron balcony that extends the width of the house at the parlor level.

6sqft last wrote about the historic home in 2014, when actress Noelle Beck and her husband Eric Petterson listed it for $17 million, after buying it in 1997 for just $1.6 million.

According to city records, Martin and Luhrmann, known for his work on films like “Romeo + Juliet” and “The Great Gatsby,” purchased the property in 2017 for $13.5 million. The couple is selling the townhouse because they have not been able to live in it due to the pandemic stranding them in Australia, according to the WSJ.

“We just thought, ‘This is ridiculous,'” Martin told the newspaper. “The house has been empty for nearly three years. And somebody should be enjoying it. But it’s breaking our hearts.”

The six-bedroom home underwent a major renovation in 2019, which included the addition of a new kitchen designed by Clive Christian that boasts dark pine cabinetry complemented by marble countertops. Located on the first floor, the kitchen has Viking and Sub-Zero appliances and access to a dreamy garden.

The sprawling formal dining room, made even cozier with a wood-burning fireplace, faces the park, and sunlight streams through its arched windows. This level also includes a butler’s pantry and powder room.

Described in the listing as suitable “even for the great Jay Gatsby,” the parlor level has an elegant floating curved staircase and 16-foot ceilings. There’s a small room off the main living area that could be great for an office (or to display several Oscars). Its mostly white and beige aesthetic stands out against the rest of the colorful rooms.

At the rear of this floor is the primary suite, which features a walk-in closet and a corner terrace. Three additional bedrooms, two bathrooms, a flexible sitting room, and laundry are all found on the third floor.

The top floor, which served as a space for Luhrmann to be creative (and where he wrote some of this year’s “Elvis” film), according to the WSJ, was home to jazz saxophonist Clifford Jordan and wife Sandy for 50 years. It holds a living room, bar, gym, bedroom, and bathroom.

The English basement, accessible via elevator, stair, or private under-the-stoop entrance, has a media room, an additional bedroom, and access to the backyard.

Items from their moviemaking, including a Hawaiian shirt worn by Leonardo DiCaprio in “Romeo + Juliet” and a hat worn by Nicole Kidman in “Moulin Rouge,” are likely not included in the sale.

[Via WSJ]

[Listing details: 243 East 17th Street at CityRealty]

[At The Corcoran Group by Steve Gold]

If you’re loving the interior design of this home, we’ve sourced a few key pieces that are identical or similar to the items in the listing photos. You can “shop” the listing here.


All photos courtesy of Nina Poon/MW Studio for the Corcoran Group

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All information furnished regarding property for sale, rental or financing is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy thereof and same is submitted subject to errors, omissions, change of price, rental or other conditions, prior sale, lease or financing or withdrawal without notice. All dimensions are approximate. For exact dimensions, you must hire your own architect or engineer and for no listing shall the number of bedrooms listed be considered a legal conclusion.

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